Arizona Secretary of State - Ken Bennett


 
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Proposition 109 - Video Transcript

Introduction

PROPOSITION 109, HUNTING AND FISHING

MODERATOR RICH DUBEK: Next up, we'd like to recall Secretary of State Bennett, to describe Proposition 109.

SECRETARY OF STATE KEN BENNETT: Thank you, Rich. Proposition 109, a yes vote, shall have the effect of making hunting, fishing, and harvesting wildlife, a constitutional right.

It would also give the State Legislature exclusive authority to enact laws regulating these activities. It would prohibit laws that unreasonably restrict hunting, fishing and harvesting wildlife, or the use of traditional means and methods. And fourth, it would establish hunting and fishing as a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.

A no vote shall have the effect of retaining the current laws regarding hunting, fishing and harvesting wildlife.


"For"
Arguments

MODERATOR RICH DUBEK: And I apologize for using the word “recall” to bring you up. Probably not the best of words considering the climate we're in here.

We'd like to call up the pro side of Prop 109 to start. He is Todd Rathner, Member of the NRA Board of Directors. Two minutes Todd.

MR. TODD RATHNER: Thank you. The National Rifle Association, Governor Jan Brewer, countless wildlife conservation organizations, and the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, all encourage you to vote yes on Proposition 109.

Sportsmen through their payment of license fees and taxes, are the primary funders of wildlife and habitat conservation in America.

Over the last century, hundreds have contributed billions of dollars to restore numerous species from the brink of extinction.

Sportsmen also pay for the recovery of non-game species, like our nation's symbol, the bald eagle. Because of sportsmen, not the radicals opposed to Prop 109, the bald eagle is now fully recovered. A primary Opponent of Prop 109, Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle told the Associated Press, “If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.”

The radicals who oppose Prop 109 think that animals should have the same rights as human beings. They actually equate hunting and fishing to murder.

The Opponents of Prop 109 have asked, what problem does it solve? The problem is them. Their threats to ban hunting are real. They spent well over $1 million dollars to band dove hunting in Michigan . They worked to ban bear hunting in New Jersey , and they worked to ban mountain lion hunting in California.

Ironically, California now has taxpayer-funded shooters killing more mountain lions than hunters ever killed.

The extremists have called Prop 109 a Power Grab, which is somehow undemocratic. This is just plain silly. Allowing we, the people to vote on Prop 109, is the essence of democracy.

The extremists also say that Prop 109 will give additional power to the legislature. This is simply a lie. The truth is, that the legislature currently has the power to regulate wildlife. That power will stay the same when Prop 109 passes.

Let me remind you what Prop 109's Opponents have already said in their own words. “If we can shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.” The only way to stop this extreme agenda, is to vote yes on Prop 109. Thank you.


"Against" Arguments

MODERATOR RICH DUBEK: Thank you, very much. Speaking on the con side of 109, is Stephanie Nichols-Young, Chairwoman of Arizonans Against the Power Grab, no, on 109.

MRS. STEPHANIE NICHOLS-YOUNG: Thank you. Hunting and fishing are part of Arizona 's culture, and they will continue to be if Arizona voters wisely reject Proposition 109 on November 2.

I and many other Arizonans, who love our state, and love the outdoors, urge you to vote no on 109. Here's why.

109 is a Power Grab. It was referred to the ballot by politicians who want to silence a majority of Arizonans, and keep them from having a voice in Arizona's wildlife management.

109 is designed to stop citizens from running and voting on ballot initiatives, effecting wildlife. Now that is extreme.

It would also limit Arizona Game and Fish Commission and Department Authority, to manage wildlife. Our current system was created primarily by hunters and anglers over eighty years ago. It has largely insulated wildlife management from politics in delegating authority to manage wildlife protection to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

This will all change if 109 passes. Wildlife management in Arizona will be a mess. The Arizona Constitution is now silent on wildlife issues. This poorly drafted proposal would go into the State Constitution of Declaration of Rights. It would give the legislature exclusive authority to manage wildlife. It would make hunting the preferred means of managing wildlife, and it would put conflicting provisions in our state constitution that will lead to a bunch of lawsuits that will put Arizona even further in the red.

Science will take a backseat to politics. Who knows what will happen to all the programs that are based on good science, that the politicians don't like, or that don't involve hunting and fishing as a management tool.

Please read the proposal, especially paragraphs B and C, and then vote no on 109.



 
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KEN BENNETT
Arizona Secretary of State

© September 2010